Sunday, September 27, 2015

DIY Sunday: Tree Stump Side Table

One lovely eye sore in our yard is a big pile of wood that needs to be burned. Since I am on a mission to reuse as much junk in our yard as I can, I took the wood pile as a challenge. I have seen various people on Pinterest use old tree stumps as side tables and decided to give it a go for my front patio.

DIY Tree Stump Side Table


Old Tree Stump (If you don't happen to have a large pile of wood sitting around, this would be a good time to hit Craigslist under the "Free" section)
Chisel and Hammer
Adjustable Furniture Legs
Sponge Brush/Paint Brush
Optional: Chainsaw


1. Remove Bark

Bark is easier to remove when the stump has had time to dry out. If it's a freshly cut stump, you may want to let the stump dry out for a month or so. Using the chisel, remove the bark. If you get to a stubborn section of the bark, use the hammer to get behind the bark. You will want to try to hit the bark from the side rather than straight down. If you strike the chisel from the top straight down, the chisel will scar the trunk. I had a couple of those myself and had to sand those sections over and over again to smooth out. You also need to be careful about using the chisel...don't cut yourself like I did. Yikes! It's sharp!

This is what happens when you go straight from the top. It leaves all sorts of ugly marks.
Go at an angle rather than straight up and down

2. Sand Trunk

Once the bark is removed, you will need to sand the surface of the trunk. This will create quite a bit of saw dust, so make sure you're in a well ventilated area.

3. Optional: Level Out Trunk

You can either level out the trunk before or after you remove the bark. If your trunk is cut very uneven, you may want to take a chainsaw and level out the trunk so it sits more level. I didn't do this with this particular trunk because I was able to level it out with the adjustable furniture legs. We did level out some smaller trunks we used for side tables on the fire pit.

4. Add Legs to the Trunk

Follow the directions on the package. My legs required me to drill a pilot hole and then hammer in the plastic piece to screw the legs in.

5. Polyurethane

Using some polyurethane, coat the trunk liberally. Follow the directions on the can on how to properly coat the trunk. Make sure you do a light sanding between coats, because poly won't stick to a shiny surface. I found this dinted can of poly at my local Lowe's at 80% off retail. It's been quite the steal for various projects. Once the poly dries, you will have quite the show stopper. It's held up great even in the great outdoors.


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